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There Be Dragons 2011

Critics score:
11 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Stephen Holden, New York Times: Clunk, clunk, squish. That is the sound of the dead language in Roland Joffe's screenplay for "There Be Dragons" as it tramples his would-be epic of the Spanish Civil War into an indigestible pulp. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: It's the kind of simplistic movie that features a benevolent chocolate maker and desk drawers containing both crucifixes and pistols. Which to choose? Read more

Alison Willmore, AV Club: There Be Dragons certainly looks lavish, from the battle scenes to the beautiful period costuming, but it's so stilted and humorless that it's almost campy. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Read more

Mark Feeney, Boston Globe: "Inspired by true events'' the opening credits say. "Time to count the factual silverware,'' the moviegoer mutters. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Few films about the Spanish Civil War have been any good -- Pan's Labyrinth being the big exception. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: [A] florid, convoluted historical drama from writer-director Roland Joffe... Read more

Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter: A jigsaw of intimate relationships and betrayals during wartime with more than a few pieces missing. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: The film's title, "There Be Dragons," is lifted from the way ancient maps warned of dangers to be found within uncharted territory. Joffe should have paid heed. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Joffe, working from his own script, presents the men's lives as evidence of difficult choices, but this pedantic movie is never fully invested in any of them. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Even actor's actor Derek Jacobi, as a Jewish factory owner, is wasted in this international muddle of a movie. Read more

Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer: Joffe is out of depth when it comes to Escriva's religious experiences. It's clear he wants the film to show how faith works within us, but he does it by resorting to the most hackneyed imagery. Read more

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle: "Dragons" may have seemed less out of place three decades ago, but it would have been a bad movie then as well. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Bernardo Bertolucci and David Lean used to make movies like this. More, please. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "There Be Dragons" tries to echo "For Whom the Bell Tolls," but this instrument is tinny and tarnished. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: Dragons may not be perfect, but it plays to the helmer's strengths, demonstrating an increasingly rare sense of scope and pageantry best served by the bigscreen. Read more

Mark Holcomb, Village Voice: The geriatric pacing, flat-footed Old Hollywood pastiche, and Joffe's inexplicable penchant for tear-jerking Catholic mysticism make Dragons more punishing than a hundred Hail Marys. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: I like grandeur and richly nuanced storytelling. I also like lobster bisque. But I don't want to drink a gallon of it in a single sitting. Read more